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It is there to dig in the permafrost to look for the evidence of the building blocks of life.

Hi,
I presume that the bolded "the" in the above is a must because of the specified "evidence." What are your precious viewpoints? Thanks.
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IMHO to use the indefinite article - replace it with "some" - (or none) would imply that it might not be there, in contrast to your opening clause. Of course "It is there to dig" may mean "That's where one should dig." (It does have kind of an archaic flavor to it.)

Is that precious, or what? - A.
AvangiIMHO to use the indefinite article (or none) would imply that it might not be there, in contrast to your opening clause. Of course "It is there to dig" may mean "That's where one should dig." (It does have kind of an archaic flavor to it.)

Is that precious, or what? - A.

Thanks, Avangi.
Now I get it. YOur explanation makes perfect sense to me.
BTW, what do you mean by the question I bolded? I can't answer it when I don't get it.
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AngliholicI presume that the bolded "the" in the above is a must because of the specified "evidence."
No. the could have been omitted. To my ear:

the evidence of ... indicates a belief that the evidence is truly there.
evidence of ... indicates a more agnostic attitude about evidence.
AngliholicWhat are your precious viewpoints?
I think the word precious is inappropriate, by the way. It is more appropriately used by mothers when they oo and ah over a little baby, or in the set phrase 'precious stones'. (I think Avangi may have been gently alluding to that.)

CJ
Geez, I don't know how to explain it. It's like saying, "Wow, is she beautiful or what!?" It's an exclamation. You want precious? I'll show you precious!

Edit. (Thanks for the assist on "precious," CJ.) Right! If you were a native speaker, Anglihilic, one would take your use of "precious" as sarcastic, but under the circumstances we know that's not the case. I've witnessed several cases on the site where learners have intended to be complimentary, and their good intentions have been taken the wrong way. One can only smile.

Best wishes, - A.
CalifJim
AngliholicI presume that the bolded "the" in the above is a must because of the specified "evidence."
No. the could have been omitted. To my ear:

the evidence of ... indicates a belief that the evidence is truly there.

evidence of ... indicates a more agnostic attitude about evidence.
AngliholicWhat are your precious viewpoints?
I think the word precious is inappropriate, by the way. It is more appropriately used by mothers when they oo and ah over a little baby, or in the set phrase 'precious stones'. (I think Avangi may have been gently alluding to that.)

CJ

Thanks, Jim and Avangi.
But I'm still confused about the inappropriateness of "precious" in my first post. Here we use it often in the context to show we appreciate others' ideas.
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"Here we use it often in the context to show we appreciate others' ideas."
Something has happened to this thread. I don't know who did what, but it now seems impossible to reply to any but the first post of the thread.
But to reply to your comment, quoted above. That may be a local usage of "precious", but to an American it sounds very strange and unidiomatic. To my ear, it is in approximately the same category as beginning every post with "Most Esteemed and Honored Sir or Madam".

CJ
CJ, how about "valuable inputs"? How does it sound to your ear?
valuable viewpoints A little better, but still groveling. And who knows, before one hears the viewpoints, whether they are precious or valuable anyway?
The usual and more idiomatic way to express respect in advance (in American English, at least) is I would ( [greatly / very much] ) appreciate hearing your viewpoint.
CJ
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